The Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Customs Service, Dikko Abdullahi, who is leaving his post on Tuesday, August 18, says he is leaving behind a transparent system and that he has nothing to fear.
Mr. Abdullahi said he was voluntarily leaving office, partly to avoid being fired by President Muhammadu Buhari, and also to allow the younger generation take over.
“The time I’m leaving is the time I feel those young ones that have developed the software can come up and manage the software,” he told journalists Monday after meeting the president.
“So that is basically the reason and I’m sending out this signal to all those who have stayed put.
“Don’t stay until you are asked you to go. When you feel you have done so much and you believe in the system you have built, then why do you stay? Why don’t you be an umpire? Leave, be by the side and watch and advise,” he said.
Mr. Abdullahi left after putting in six years as the head of Customs, one of Nigeria’s main revenue sources besides oil and gas.
The Buhari administration has replaced the leadership of critical government offices, and last week, as part of wider reforms, announced an extensive audit of all revenue generating agencies of government.
Mr. Abdullahi wrote to the president on August 3 seeking permission to stand down. Mr. Buhari approved his resignation request 11 days later.
Fielding questions from journalists after meeting the president on Monday, the former Customs boss said under his watch revenue appreciated by 20 percent.
“Revenue appreciated by 20 percent from when I took over and the officers that did the work are still around and I think that the NCS – I stand to be corrected- is the only service that is fully automated in the system of operation,” he said, saying it is time for the younger generation who built the automated systems to take over.
“We have no fear,” he added.
He said the only way the Customs service can move forward is to give chance to the younger generation.